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Recipe: plaice with fresh tomato sauce

02 November 2018 at 14:31

Plaice with tomato sauce_blg.jpg

Plaice is available most of the year, although in the early months of the year the availability can be variable. It is a remarkable fish in that it has a firm flesh and sweet flavour and I find it combines well with a variety of things, such as coconut, apples and cider. It is also good with light spicing.

This recipe simply poaches the fillets and is served with a fresh tomato sauce. The sauce recipe is from my new book which has just been published, called Tomato. It’s a good time to make the sauce as there will still be a few end of season tomatoes which go to making the sauce, any left over from the dish can be frozen and used in a variety of ways.


700g ripe tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with sea salt
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
150ml red wine
Pinch sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 fillets of plaice
2 tblsp dry white


  1. Blitz the tomatoes in a food processor into a rough puree.
  2. Soften the garlic in a frying pan with the oil, but don’t allow to colour.
  3. Add the tomatoes and wine and season with the salt, pepper and sugar, simmer until thick.
  4. Push through a sieve, and check for seasoning.
  5. Using a butter wrapper grease the base of a large pan, place the fillets on the base and season with salt and pepper. Add the white wine and a little water to cover the base.
  6. Cover with grease proof paper and gently poach the fish for about 5 minutes over a gentle heat. The fish will go from translucent to a pale white,
  7. Carefully lift the fish out and dry on kitchen paper and keep warm, bring the poaching liquor to a rapid boil to reduce by half, strain into the tomato sauce, check for seasoning.
  8. Place a large spoonful of tomato sauce on 4 plates, and place 3 fillets on each one.

Serve with mash and purple sprouting broccoli.  

Recipe by Christopher Trotter
Food photography by Caroline Trotter